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How to make Tonkatsu - Japanese Pork Cutlets

Updated on April 7, 2015
A common Japanese meal featuring tonkatsu.
A common Japanese meal featuring tonkatsu.

Concerning tonkatsu

To explain in simple terms, "tonkatsu" is Japanese breaded pork cutlet has been a favorite dish amongst Japanese for quite some time. To explain the words, "ton" is a traditional Japanese word for "pig" while "katsu" is short for "katsu-age" which means deep fried. So basically, "tonkatsu" is deep fried pork.

The required ingredients
The required ingredients


  • 2 pork chops, boneless
  • 1 egg
  • flour
  • "panko", bread crumbs
  • vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper

Tonkatsu has been noted for its versatility in that it can be served in a variety of meals such as with curry (katsu-curry), upon rice mixed with onion and eggs (katsudon), or even in udon. Pictured above is simply the most common form of a tonkatsu meal: served atop shredded cabbage (soaked in cold water for about an hour) along with rice and miso soup with a touch of tonkatsu sauce.

On a final note, please keep in mind that this menu is specifically for the tonkatsu and the tonkatsu alone. What type of tonkatsu meal you wish to serve with the tonkatsu is entirely up to you. Like I said above, tonkatsu is a highly versatile dish and can be used in a variety of Japanese meals. Therefore, I ask that you may simply enjoy.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Heat the oilTenderize the meatCover in flourDip in eggCover in "panko"Deep fry in oilLet it sit on napkinServe with meal
Heat the oil
Heat the oil
Tenderize the meat
Tenderize the meat
Cover in flour
Cover in flour
Dip in egg
Dip in egg
Cover in "panko"
Cover in "panko"
Deep fry in oil
Deep fry in oil
Let it sit on napkin
Let it sit on napkin
Serve with meal
Serve with meal

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 3 min
Ready in: 18 min
Yields: 2 tonkatsu cutlets


  1. Pour the oil into a pan, deep enough so that the pork cutlet will be almost entirely submerged. Begin heating.
  2. Cut away the fatty portions of the pork chops. Apply salt and pepper onto the pork chops and tenderize them.
  3. Cover the pork chops entirely with flour. Make sure that no spot is left uncovered.
  4. Beat the egg in a separate bowl. Dip the flour-covered pork chops into the egg, again making sure it is completely covered.
  5. Cover the pork chops with "panko", making sure that no spot is left uncovered. The flour and egg are what makes the panko adhere to the pork.
  6. Deep fry the pork. Flip the pork cutlet over whenever you feel it necessary to do so. If the oil was sufficiently preheated, it should take about three minutes to cook. Will come out as a rich golden brown color when finished.
  7. Remove the tonkatsu from the oil and let it drain atop a napkin, atop a plate.
  8. Serve with whatever meal you are making.

Tonkatsu Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1
Calories 313
Calories from Fat99
% Daily Value *
Fat 11 g17%
Saturated fat 2 g10%
Unsaturated fat 9 g
Carbohydrates 25 g8%
Sugar 3 g
Protein 29 g58%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

In conclusion...

As you can see from this menu, tonkatsu is quick and easy to make, a truly versatile meal. If you are into Asian or Japanese cuisine, this is something I believe to be worth checking out. At the very least if you don't go wrong with the instructions, you can have a quick pork meal that goes well with just about anything. Go ahead and give it a try.

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